Construction has begun on a $3 million redevelopment of facilities at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden.
A new purpose-built home for the heritage-listed Wallace Herbarium is on track to be complete by February. The former herbarium space will be converted into a new retail area to provide visitor information services and sell quality and locally-made art, wares and produce.
A new café is being constructed adjoining the visitor centre, while the existing café will be transformed into a multi-purpose function space, perfect for weddings, conferences, exhibitions or as a classroom.
The project is funded thanks to grants from the Australian Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package and Building Better Regions Fund, the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund, community group Friends of the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden, and Council.
The Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden is one of the largest regional gardens in Australia, and visitation has doubled in the past five years.
Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden Manager Michael Anlezark said the work was designed to meet the growing needs of residents and visitors. He said it would enable the Garden to target a wider audience, including coach tours and larger school groups.
“I’m very excited and can’t wait to see the amazing new facilities that will take our Garden into the future,” he said.
“We currently can’t promote the Garden as a destination to coach companies as we don’t have adequate facilities to cope with large groups, such as enough toilets, so these new facilities will bring some amazing new opportunities.
“We’re also looking forward to partnering with other attractions in the area to develop unique educational programs for school groups.”
Member for Bega Andrew Constance said the project would deliver a world-class destination for nature-based tourism right here on the NSW South Coast.
“I’m delighted the NSW Government is contributing more than $1.1 million to its cost,” Mr Constance said.
“The Garden already attracts more than 70,000 people each year, and this work will provide additional opportunities for education, events and experiences with the view of doubling those numbers. It will also allow the Garden to continue its important work in botanic research, education and sustainability.”
Visitors can expect minor disruption to access while the work is underway, but the Garden will remain open and fully functioning during the course of the building work. For more information visit the Botanic Garden website www.erbg.com.au
Above: Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden Manager Michael Anlezark and Cercol Constructions Site Foreman Tom Bellekom go over plans for the Botanic Garden’s visitor centre redevelopment.